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Bishop Deeley Announces Nine Priest Assignments and Two Retirements

PORTLAND---Bishop Robert P. Deeley has announced nine priest assignments and two retirements, all effective August 1, 2020.

Assignments

Fr. Benedict Olusegun Faneye, OP, has been appointed chaplain at Maine Medical Center in Portland. He currently serves as a chaplain at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion, St. Mary’s Residence, and Central Maine Medical Center, all located in Lewiston. Fr. Faneye is a member of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph the Worker of Nigeria. The ministry of the Dominicans, also known as the Order of Preachers (OP), emphasizes charity, study, and preaching. Originally from Nigeria, Fr. Benedict began formation with the Dominicans in 1985 and was ordained to the priesthood on May 21, 1994, in Baltimore, Maryland. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria; a master of divinity degree from the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of studies in Washington, D.C.; a licentiate in moral philosophy from The Catholic University of America, also in Washington, D.C.; and a doctorate in health-care ethics from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Since his ordination, Fr. Benedict has served as a hospital and nursing home chaplain; a lecturer in bioethics, moral philosophy, and moral theology at the Dominican Institute in Nigeria; a member of the Institutional Ethics Committee of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; an administrator in the Dominican Development and Missions Office in Maryland; and as parochial vicar at a church in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, his final assignment before arriving in the Diocese of Portland in November 2018, when he was named parochial vicar of Stella Maris Parish in Bucksport, St. Joseph Parish in Ellsworth, and the Parish of the Transfiguration of the Lord in Bar Harbor. He was appointed chaplain in his current assignment in July of 2019.


Fr. Patrick Finn has been appointed parochial vicar at Prince of Peace Parish (Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Holy Cross Church, and Holy Family Church, all in Lewiston), Holy Trinity Parish in Lisbon Falls, and Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Sabattus. Fr. Finn is currently parochial vicar of Corpus Christi Parish (Notre Dame Church, Waterville; St. John the Baptist Church, Winslow; St. Helena Church, Belgrade Lakes). He was ordained to the priesthood on June 16, 2018, at St. John the Baptist Church in Brunswick. His assignment at Corpus Christi Parish was his first pastoral assignment. He has served at the parish since July 1, 2018. A Bath native, Fr. Finn attended Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio and earned a master of divinity degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He completed his clerical studies at Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts.


Fr. Selvaraj Kasi, HGN, (“Fr. Selvaraj”) has been appointed parochial vicar at the Parish of the Precious Blood (Holy Rosary Church, Caribou; Sacred Heart Church, Caribou; Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Presque Isle; Our Lady of the Lake Church, Portage; St. Catherine Church, Washburn; St. Denis Church, Fort Fairfield; St. Joseph Church, Mars Hill; St. Louis Church, Limestone; St. Mark Church, Ashland; St. Theresa Church, Stockholm). Fr. Kasi currently serves as parochial vicar at Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston, Holy Trinity Parish in Lisbon Falls, and Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Sabattus. Heralds of Good News (HGN) is a missionary society of apostolic life in India that specializes in missionary work and the promotion of vocations to the priesthood. Born in 1979, Fr. Selvaraj attended school in Tiruvannamalai, a city in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, graduating from Danish Mission High School in 1994. He attended junior college in Tiruvannamali before entering Sacred Heart College in Tirupattur, India. He completed his clerical studies at St. John’s Minor Seminary in Nidadavole, India (2003-2005), St. John’s Major Seminary in Kurnool, India (2005-2008), and St. Augustine Major Seminary in Peramiho, Tanzania (2009-2013). While in seminary, he also did his regency (a period of pastoral ministry) teaching math and science in a town in the state of Orissa, India. Fr. Selvaraj was ordained to the priesthood on June 29, 2013, at Ulaga Madha Church in Tiruvannamalai. Since his ordination, Fr. Selvaraj has served in Tanzania, including assignments in a hostel, teaching and caring for residents (2013-2014); as a correspondent at Queen Mary’s Secondary School (2014-2015); and as head master of the school (2015-2017). In addition, he also served as his congregation’s mission superior in the country before arriving in Maine in June of 2017. He served as parochial vicar at St. John Vianney Parish in Fort Kent, Notre Dame du Mont Carmel Parish in Madawaska, Our Lady of the Valley Parish in St. Agatha, and St. Peter Chanel Parish in Van Buren until November of 2019, when he received his current assignment.


Fr. M. Arockia Natha Prabu, HGN, (“Fr. Prabu”) has been appointed parochial vicar at the Parish of the Ascension of the Lord (St. Raphael Church, Kittery; Our Lady of the Angels Church, South Berwick; St. Christopher Church, York; Star of the Sea Church, York Beach). Fr. Prabu is currently parochial vicar at the Parish of the Precious Blood in Caribou. A native of Tiruvannamalai, India, Fr. Prabu competed his clerical studies at St. John’s Minor Seminary in Nidadavole, India, and St. Joseph’s Major Seminary in Kurnool, India. While in formation, he spent a year of pastoral ministry teaching English to sixth and seventh graders in Prathipadu, India. He was ordained to the priesthood on April 10, 2013, in Melavalady, India. Since his ordination, Fr. Prabu served as an assistant parish priest, similar to a parochial vicar here, at five churches in four different parishes in India, before receiving his current assignment at the Parish of the Precious Blood in July of 2019.


Fr. Arokiasamy Santhiyagu, HGN, (“Fr. Samy”) has been appointed chaplain at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion, St. Mary’s Residence, and Central Maine Medical Center, all located in Lewiston. Fr. Samy currently serves as half-time hospital chaplain at MaineGeneral Health in Augusta and half-time parochial vicar at St. Michael Parish in Augusta. Ordained to the priesthood in India on December 27, 2007, Fr. Santhiyagu served as parochial vicar from 2008 to 2010 at Sacred Heart Parish in the city of Madras (now Chennai) in India. In June of 2010, he was appointed parochial vicar of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish in the Coimbatore Diocese, located in Tamil Nadu, India. From June of 2011 to January of 2015, he served as pastor of St. Mary Parish in the Diocese of Eluru, located in Andhra Pradesh, India. Fr. Santhiyagu was also the principal of that parish’s school. He has served as a parochial vicar at St. Michael Parish since July of 2015.


Fr. Nehru Stephen Savayaria, HGN, (“Fr. Nehru Stephen”) has been appointed parochial vicar at Corpus Christi Parish (Notre Dame Church, Waterville; St. John the Baptist Church, Winslow; St. Helena Church, Belgrade Lakes). Fr. Nehru Stephen currently serves as parochial vicar at the Parish of the Precious Blood in Caribou. Born in Pinjivakkam Kandigai, India, Fr. Nehru Stephen earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu, India. He was ordained to the priesthood on April 10, 2013, at Heralds of Good News Minor Seminary, also in Tamil Nadu. Since his ordination, he has served as an assistant parish priest at St. Thomas Mount International Shrine in Chennai, India, which marks the burial place of St. Thomas, the apostle. He then served as house superior at the Heralds of Good News provincialate for two years before departing for his new assignment in Maine in 2016. In November of that year, Fr. Nehru was assigned as parochial vicar at Parish of the Precious Blood. He has served at the parish since that time except for a short temporary assignment as parochial vicar at Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston.  


Fr. Anthanasius Sangnyuy Wirsiy has been appointed parochial vicar at Stella Maris Parish (St. Vincent de Paul Church, Bucksport; Our Lady of Holy Hope Church, Castine; St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, Stonington), St. Joseph Parish (St. Joseph Church, Ellsworth; Blue Hill Mission, Blue Hill; Our Lady of the Lake Mission, Green Lake; St. Margaret Chapel, Winter Harbor), and Parish of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Holy Redeemer Church, Bar Harbor; St. Peter Church, Manset; St. Ignatius Church, Northeast Harbor). Currently, he serves as a hospital chaplain at Maine Medical Center and Mercy Hospital, both in Portland, and parochial vicar for the Portland Peninsula and Island Parishes. Born in 1971, Fr. Athanasius was raised in a Catholic family with three sisters. He began his priestly formation in 1993 at St. John Mary Vianney Spiritual Center in Njinikom, Cameroon. He completed his clerical studies and earned bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and divinity at St. Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary in Bambui, Cameroon. Fr. Athanasius was ordained to the priesthood on April 24, 2003, in the Diocese of Kumbo, Cameroon. Since his ordination, Fr. Athanasius has served in the Diocese of Kumbo as chaplain at St. Augustine College in Nso (2003-2005); parish priest at Assumption Parish in Mbiame (2005-2007); rector of St. Aloysius Minor Seminary (2007-2010); and diocesan finance secretary (2010-2016). In August of 2017, Fr. Athanasius received his current assignments in Portland.   


Fr. Peter Shaba, SMA, has been appointed parochial vicar at St. Bartholomew Parish in Cape Elizabeth, St. John & Holy Cross Parish in South Portland, and St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Scarborough. Fr. Shaba is currently parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Bridgton and St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Norway. Fr. Shaba is a member of the Society of African Missions (SMA), an international community of missionaries founded in France in 1856. Their first evangelization is the proclamation of the Gospel to those who have not yet heard, especially the poor and most abandoned. SMA missionaries first established a presence in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century when Fr. Ignatius Lissner, SMA, a native of Alsace in France, came to North America to raise funds for the SMA’s missions in Africa. He quickly saw America as a potential mission territory.


Fr. Michael Sevigny, OFM Cap., will serve in the Diocese of Portland’s Hispanic Ministry, which provides worship opportunities, outreach services, faith formation, and social service education to Maine’s growing Hispanic community. Fr. Michael is a Franciscan with the St. Mary Province of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (OFM Cap.), White Plains, New York, who strive to live the Gospel with the same simplicity and fervor as their founder, St. Francis of Assisi.

NOTE: Even with these recent announcements by Bishop Deeley, some openings for parochial vicars remain. The diocese is working with the Heralds of Good News (India), the Society of African Missions (Nigeria), and the Diocese of Kumbo (Cameroon) to obtain religious worker visas for proposed candidates to fill these vacancies. Once approved by the Department of Homeland Security and their visas obtained to travel to the United States, additional assignments will be finalized and released.


Retirements

Fr. Joseph Cahill will retire from full-time active ministry. He intends to continue exercising his priestly ministry by providing coverage in parishes as needed. Fr. Cahill is currently parochial vicar of Stella Maris Parish (St. Vincent de Paul Church, Bucksport; Our Lady of Holy Hope Church, Castine; St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, Stonington), St. Joseph Parish (St. Joseph Church, Ellsworth; Blue Hill Mission, Blue Hill; Our Lady of the Lake Mission, Green Lake; St. Margaret Chapel, Winter Harbor), and Parish of the Transfiguration of the Lord (Holy Redeemer Church, Bar Harbor; St. Peter Church, Manset; St. Ignatius Church, Northeast Harbor). A native of Lynn, Massachusetts, Fr. Cahill attended Lynn schools before graduation from Lynn English High School. He completed his clerical studies at Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, and Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Ontario. Fr. Cahill was ordained to the priesthood on June 20, 1976, at St. Joseph Church in Lynn. His first parish assignment was as assistant pastor at St. Joseph Parish in Lewiston. In June of 1978, he was appointed assistant pastor at St. Mary Parish in Houlton. In June of 1981, he was named assistant pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Portland. He was appointed pastor of St. Denis Parish in Fort Fairfield in September of 1986. In July of 1990, he served as parochial vicar of St. Mary Parish in Presque Isle before being named pastor of Our Holy Redeemer Parish in Bar Harbor and St. Ignatius Parish in Northeast Harbor a month later. In July of 1997, Fr. Cahill was appointed pastor of St. Theresa Parish in Oakland. In June of 2000, in addition to his duties at St. Theresa Parish, he was named pastor of St. Bridget Parish in North Vassalboro. In July of 2006, he was appointed parochial vicar of St. Christopher Parish in York, St. Michael Parish in South Berwick, and Our Lady of Peace Parish in Berwick. In October of 2006, in addition to his duties at the three parishes, he was also named parochial vicar of St. Raphael Parish in Kittery. In August of 2012, Fr. Cahill was named parochial vicar of St. Joseph Parish in Bridgton, St. Anne Parish in Gorham, St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Westbrook, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Windham. In July of 2013, he was appointed pastor of St. Agnes Parish in Pittsfield and Our Lady of the Snows Parish in Dexter, where he served until receiving his current assignments in June of 2015. In addition to his parish assignments, Fr. Cahill has served as a Knights of Columbus chaplain for councils in Lewiston, Bar Harbor, and Oakland.


Fr. Mark Nolette will retire from full-time active ministry effective July 1, 2020, for medical reasons. For the foreseeable future, he intends to continue celebrating Mass, on a limited basis, in his current parishes where he will continue to reside. A native of Biddeford, Fr. Nolette attended grammar school at St. Joseph’s and St. Andre’s before graduating from Cheverus High School in Portland. He completed his clerical studies at Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, and St. Paul University in Ottawa, Ontario. Fr. Nolette was ordained to the priesthood on August 1, 1987, at St. Joseph Church in Biddeford. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Augustine Parish in Augusta. In 1989, Fr. Nolette studied canon law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. When he returned from canon law studies, he was assigned to full-time ministry in the Diocese of Portland’s Tribunal in June of 1991. The Tribunal handles adjudication in cases involving canon law of the Catholic Church. Fr. Nolette served as temporary administrator at St. Gregory Parish in Gray from late September thorough the end of December 1991, in addition to Tribunal work. In January of 1993, he was named as administrator of Sacred Heart/St. Dominic Parish in Portland, where he served until June of 1993 while continuing Tribunal work. Fr. Nolette served in the Tribunal full time after June of 1993 until he was named pastor of St. Mark Parish in Ashland in 1994. In July of 1999, he was named vice chancellor of the Diocese of Portland, where he would serve until June of 2001 when he was appointed pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Calais (2001-2005), which included St. Ann Parish in Pleasant Point from 2001-2003. In February of 2004, he was also named pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Lubec and St. Timothy Parish in Campobello. In July of 2005, Fr. Nolette became pastor of Holy Name Parish in Machias, which included Sacred Heart and St. Timothy in addition to St. Michael Mission in Cherryfield. In October of 2008, Fr. Nolette was appointed administrator of Our Lady of the Snows Parish in Dover-Foxcroft/Dexter and St. Agnes Parish in Pittsfield. From 2010 to 2013, he served as parochial vicar of St. Brendan the Navigator Parish in Camden while living at Transfiguration Hermitage in Windsor. In 2013, he celebrated weekend Masses and funerals at St. Michael Parish in Augusta. In November of 2014, he returned to serve at Our Lady of the Snows Parish and St. Agnes Parish, where he was named parochial vicar of both parishes in October of 2015. In addition to his parish assignments, Fr. Nolette served in the Diocese of Portland’s Tribunal, which handles adjudication in cases involving canon law of the Catholic Church, as a judge, associated judge, procurator advocate, promoter of justice, and defender of the bond. He also served as a sacramental minister at the Augusta Mental Health Institute, a vicar forane, and as a member of the Diocese of Portland’s Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors. In addition, Fr. Nolette is a contributing writer to Harvest, the magazine of the Diocese of Portland.